Singapore Media Watch

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Your views: MDA's statement misleading and insensitive

jjI refer to media reports on Starhub Cable Vision being fined by the Media Development Authority (MDA) for showing footage of lesbian sex and bondage on Zone Reality Channel's reality series Cheaters.

I take issue with the callous and misleading language used by the Media Development Authority, an act which would perpetuate discrimination against lesbians, who are already marginalised in Singapore.

This is what the MDA wrote in its press release on the 23rd of October about the programme:

"It contained footages of a woman engaging in lesbian sex acts with another woman. While pixilation was used during the sex scenes, it was still obvious to viewers that the women were naked and engaging in unnatural sex acts.

The programme also showed the woman tied to a bed in a bondage session with two other women. The visuals were deemed to be sexually suggestive and offensive to good taste and decency.

The programme also promotes lesbianism as a lifestyle, which breaches the Programme Code. The woman manages to get her boyfriend to accept her lifestyle and to invite other people to engage in threesomes with them."

I do not condone or condemn the programme in question. But I am appalled by the way the MDA sinisterly equates a "lesbian lifestyle" with having both men and women engaged in mixed-sex threesomes.

It shows a complete lack of understanding on the sexual dynamics of certain heterosexual couples, some of whom identify as heterosexual - not homosexual - but choose to engage in
this alternative sexual arrangement.

More dangerously, it assumes that all lesbians engage in threesomes - with the opposite sex to boot - and this is part of their lifestyle.

This presumption is particularly offensive because many lesbians - just like heterosexual couples - form long-term monogamous unions even though they are not allowed marry under the law.

Bondage is not part of this so-called "lesbian lifestyle"; it is merely a sexual preference that certain people choose to engage in. Someone reading certain local women's magazines would be dazzled by the array of sex acts - including bondage acts - that their readers are being taught to perform on their male partners. Should we then, based on this, say that bondage is part
of the heterosexual lifestyle too?

While the MDA is entitled to police what it deems to be sexually explicit programmes on TV, it owes Singaporeans far greater sensitivity in its use of the language. An inclusive Singapore is a Singapore that is aware of, and sensitive to the needs of all its minorities.

Many lesbian women in Singapore already have a tough time trying to undo years of damage brought on by a society that constantly told them it was wrong to love another woman. It would be a great shame if the Government perpetuates such homophobia by misrepresenting the lifestyles of this sexual minority.

Ms. Eileena Lee Wann Yuen


  • Apologies for using comments.

    Possible breaking news of why Today editor is sacked:

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:46 AM  

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